Are you struggling with money? You’re not alone; according to this survey, 78% of students in the UK have a problem with financial hardship when studying at uni. Student loans don’t last forever, and with the cost of accommodation, food, bills, etc., financial stress is a real possibility.
So, what should you do?
prioritise your spending.
Sorry, but those pizza nights and Netflix subscriptions are going to have to go. You’re going to have to cut back on weekly drinks nights too.
Work out what you need to spend your money on, such as your tuition fees and rent costs, and put to rest any unnecessary spending until you are back on your feet again.
You should find ways to save money too.
Walk or cycle instead of getting the bus. Cook your own food instead of spending your money on expensive takeaways and ready meals. And take advantage of these money saving tips, each one designed with uni students in mind. By slashing costs wherever you can (
Find ways to make money.
It might be time to enter your first job; something that can fit around your study schedule. Head over to your nearest notice board at uni, where there’s often a ton of local vacancies, although you can proactively offer your services to local stores, bars, etc. on the off chance of work being available. Another great way to earn some extra cash, and still have a healthy studying schedule, is to be part of your uni’s student ambassador program if there is one available. I joined mine while at uni and I earned extra cash while not feeling too much pressure, as many of the events I had to cover as an ambassador were already based on campus anyway. Win-win!
And you might be able to make money in other ways, such as offering tuition to struggling students, or through taking online surveys. Research opportunities that are available to you, and if you do start boosting your income, be sure to put some of it into your savings, instead of blowing it all on unnecessary things.
Borrow if you must, but do it mindfully.
If you are already struggling with debt, I would be hesitant to advise borrowing from any kind of loan company. You don’t want to dig yourself into a deeper hole, after all. See if your family can lend you money, as they probably won’t add any interest to it. Or even better still, talk to your money advisor at uni, and ask for maintenance loan details, as the interest on them is lower than bank and credit card loans. However, if you do
Finally, seek out additional funding sources.
Every year, scholarships and bursaries go unclaimed because students don’t think they are eligible to apply for them. They assume these funding sources are for those students from disadvantaged backgrounds, or for people who are academically gifted. This isn’t always the case, so speak to your university for more details, and research charities and companies who give money to students. Unlike a loan, you won’t have to pay these back either, so it’s worth putting the effort into finding an additional funding source.
Uni life isn’t easy at the best of times, and it’s even harder when you are struggling financially. Here’s to hoping these suggestions were helpful, but do get other professional advice if you need to, such as at your bank or from the support services at uni (they’re often a great resource, with options and advice that you didn’t even know you had at your disposal). Hopefully, you will then get back on your feet sooner rather than later!